Book Review: All My Goodbyes by Mariana Dimópulos (trans. Alice Whitmore)

Restless, skeptical of love and afraid of the familiar, All My Goodbyes by Mariana Dimópulos (translated by Alice Whitmore) follows the life of a young Argentinean woman who spends ten years in Europe working a number of different unskilled jobs, until she returns to South America and finds happiness in a remote corner of Patagonia. This happiness is then soured ...

Book Review: Take Three Girls by Cath Crowley, Simone Howell, Fiona Wood

Take Three Girls is the book you want your teenagers – regardless of their gender – to read. In today’s world of easy vitriol sprayed online, teenagers need the strength to overcome hatred and not become one of the horrible trolls. This book discusses that and more. It deals with the unlikeliest of friendships, organically formed despite the differences between each girl ...

Book Review: Shtum by Jem Lester

‘Shtum’ means silent, non communicative. It is also Jonah’s most obvious trait. Jonah, the book’s little protagonist is autistic, but not in the Rainman kind of way. He loves Marmite and lashes out when he can’t have it. He loves bubble baths and running around in the backyard naked. He is unpredictable and unable to properly communicate with those around him. Shtum ...

Welcome to the Year of the Novel: 2018

Would you like to make 2018 the year you finally write that book? Emily Maguire's hugely popular year-long novel-writing course is back, beginning in February with Phase One. No one will tell you that writing a novel is easy, but a good teacher and supportive cohort can make a world of difference. Here's Emily with a few other pointers: How has ...

Felicity Castagna on what makes a successful short story

Felicity Castagna is an author and teacher whose debut novel The Incredible Here and Now won the 2014 Prime Minister's Literature Award (YA). She currently teaches creative writing all around Australia. Short stories have to accomplish so much in a short space. What can short stories do to hook readers? The answer to the question lies somewhere in an understanding of what ...

Book Review: The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James

How did 16-year-old Romy Silvers end up all alone in outer space, on the way to Earth II? Even the premise of the book alone is intriguing. The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James starts off with a news story of the biggest space project the world has ever seen: NASA has sent off The Infinity – with a ...

Spotlight On: Barrie Seppings

Every month, we shine the spotlight on one of our accomplished members to celebrate their success and give readers a glimpse into their creative process. This month’s Spotlight On features Barrie Seppings, debut author of ShelfLife, a ‘fast, fun, slick’ satire of start-up culture and digital nomads. Barrie Seppings spent his early career in advertising, moving between Australia and South East ...

Event Recap: First Friday Club with Jenn Martin

For the last First Friday Club of 2017, we were joined by librarian and reading specialist, Jenn Martin. Jenn is currently Events Coordinator at Woollahra Libraries in Sydney and regularly works with authors and publishers to deliver public author events. She spoke to our Membership Officer, Sherry Landow, about the future of libraries in a digital age. Our Membership Intern, Mia ...

Book Review: This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel

This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel is a conscientious exploration of gender dysphoria, navigating the subject matter with sensitivity and honesty. At times heartbreaking and at other times uplifting, Frankel has written candidly about an incredibly important topic. The story follows an American family (Rosie and Penn plus their four sons and one daughter) who are keeping a ...

Book Review: All the Beloved Ghosts by Alison Macleod

Reading All the Beloved Ghosts by Alison Macleod is like creeping through someone else’s house and peering into rooms that aren’t yours. You glimpse other lives from the belongings left behind or the musty scents stirred up as you open doors. Each of Macleod’s stories is beautifully lifelike, yet ghostly. From the first story, ‘The Thaw’, set in Nova Scotia following ...

Book Review: Forest Dark by Nicole Krauss

Forest Dark is an ambitious novel by Nicole Krauss that grapples with existential and other philosophical issues, and deep considerations of Jewish religious thought and mysticism. The two main characters have no apparent links, other than being Americans with strong Jewish connections who have flown to Israel where most of the action occurs. Their stories unfold in alternating narratives. The third ...

Vanessa Berry on capturing a sense of place in writing

Vanessa Berry writes the mysteries and secrets of Sydney on her popular blog, Mirror Sydney. She has over 10 years of experience teaching writing, and currently teaches in media at Macquarie University and creative writing at the University of Sydney. She recently published her book Mirror Sydney, and also authored Ninety9 and Strawberry Hills Forever. Is writing place more challenging in fiction or non-fiction? Place is one of ...

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